Provided by Hewitt Associates
President Obama Signs Bill Extending COBRA Premium Subsidy, Unemployment Insurance, and Medicare Physician Payment Rates Into Law
President Obama signed into law the “Continuing Extension Act of 2010″ (H.R. 4851) on April 15, 2010. The legislation was passed by both the House and Senate the same day. The law temporarily extends the federal subsidy for COBRA benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, and Medicare physician payment rates.
Specifically, the law:
– Extends the federal 65% COBRA premium subsidy from March 31, 2010 to May 31, 2010;
– Extends the Medicare physician payment update from March 31, 2010 to May 31, 2010 to prevent a 21% drop in physician payment rates; and
– Extends unemployment insurance benefits from April 5, 2010 to June 2, 2010.
Meanwhile, the House is expected to begin debate on the pending “American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act of 2010″ (H.R. 4213). The bill was passed by the Senate on March 10, 2010 and, among other tax provisions, includes extending the COBRA subsidy eligibility extension through December 31, 2010.
The full text of H.R. 4851 is available at:
On February 22, 2010, Hewitt Associates had an informational webcast/web conference on Health Care Reform to help individuals, companies and families understand the changes in the new health care bill.
Here is a direct link to the recorded session. If you have not viewed this event, please take time. It is filled with valuable user friendly material:
UPDATE: President Obama signed the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (H.R. 3590) into law on March 23, 2010, clearing the way for the Senate to take up the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010″ (H.R. 4872).
The reconciliation bill, the “Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010″ (H.R. 4872), includes significant modifications to the Senate-passed “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (H.R. 3590). The reconciliation bill changes (only) now go to the Senate for its consideration early this week. For the reconciliation bill to pass the Senate, it would require a simple majority vote (51 votes) under the budget reconciliation rules, with Vice President Biden available to break a tie.
Senate Democrats aim to complete the reconciliation bill before the Senate adjourns for spring recess, slated to begin March 29 (unless delayed). Now that the House has passed the reconciliation bill (H.R. 4872) and the Senate-passed bill (H.R. 3590) on the same day, President Obama is expected to sign the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (H.R. 3590) into law as soon as possible.
The Hewitt bulletin linked to at right provides a preliminary analysis of the employer impact associated with the reconciliation bill (H.R. 4872), including certain changes to H.R. 4872 adopted via House passage of the Manager’s Amendment.
The Inclusion Paradox – The Obama Era and the Transformation of Global Diversity – New Study by Andres’ Tapia – Chief Diversity Officer for Hewitt Associates (A Must Read in Today’s Global Markets)
What Is the Inclusion Paradox?
“In order to achieve true inclusion, affirming what we share in common is not enough. Rather, we need to know how to constructively call out our differences.”
In this new book Andrés Tapia points the way to the next generation of diversity work. The Inclusion Paradox breaks ground in challenging the notion that the melting pot leads to inclusion and that current best practices will be enough to achieve breakthroughs. It offers dynamic guidelines for diversity in a new era.
“In clear and direct language, The Inclusion Paradox describes a new way to drive real results in your diversity and inclusion efforts.”
Jorge Figueredo, Executive Vice President, HR
Follow Andres’ on Twitter @andresTTapia
On February 1, 2010, President Obama released a $3.8 trillion fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget proposal.
According to the President, the FY 2011 budget takes steps to jump-start job creation, strengthen the economic security of middle-class families, and place the country on a path to fiscal sustainability — an assertion that Congressional Republicans have been quick to challenge. In an effort to reduce waste within the federal government, the budget proposal identified more than 120 programs that should be terminated or reduced, generating $20 billion in savings.
According to the administration’s economic projections, the economic recovery plan alone would eventually reduce the deficit from about 10% of GDP in 2010 to about 5% of GDP in 2012. Other policy changes would, if enacted, further reduce the deficit. For example, the budget proposal would allow the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts under President Bush to remain in place for families making less than $250,000, but not retain them for families making $250,000 or more ($200,000 for singles), for whom the 39.6% and the 36% tax rates would be reinstated and who would in addition see a cap on the tax rate applied for purposes of itemized deductions.
The budget proposal also would impose a “responsibility fee” on the largest banks to compensate taxpayers for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). It also proposes a variety of changes in international tax treatment intended to generally limit the ability of multinational corporations to deduct expenses from overseas investments while deferring U.S. tax on the income from the investment, which the administration says may cause U.S. businesses to shift their investments and jobs overseas. Finally, the administration emphasized that the key to long-term fiscal stability is “fiscally-responsible health insurance reform.”
The Hewitt bulletin linked to at right summarizes the key budget proposals that affect human resources and employee benefits from an employer perspective.
Full 11 page summary:
David Plouffe, Author of “The Audacity to Win” and campaign manager for the Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign donned the camera’s of Meet the Press this morning as Rush Limbaugh provided insight on Fox Sunday morning. Two perspectives, two parties, and very different messages to the American public. With three major races in the balance for Tuesday, Virginia and New Jersey Gubernaturial and New York’s 23rd District seat, the question of how these elections could effect the Obama Administration loom.
The possibility of two Republicans and one conservative taken down the incumbant Democrats in these three races could have a continuted sliding effect on the public’s confidence in Obama and his pledge for government reform, energy and health care reform and the greening of our nation.
A recent poll showed confidence in Obama at 49% while only 39% believe he is doing an effective job to change government.
With some liberal focused Republicans leaving the party and no sign of a strong leadership presence, there is still a major change that needs to occur to re-energize that party.
With public concern for Obama leading to possible dissention in the up coming polls on Tuesday, there are signs that perhaps promises will not turn into implementation in the near term.
The Republicans in Washington are fighting hard to hold back policy agenda but is it valid?
One year later, discussions are running rampant, the economy has hinted at a recovery, the global turmoil lingers and unification of the two parties is still a dream.
As I look to the audience, what grade do you give this new administration one year later?